Another Bowling Alley Fire from Cleaning Fumes
Explosion and fire wrecked two business establishments in Wildwood, N. J., on Sept. 15, last, causing property damage of $100,000 and giving 80 firemen a tough battle before it was controlled.
The explosion occurred in the bowling alley at 4907 Pacific Ave., known as Ken’s Bowlodrome and spread to the adorning cigar store of Glen Locke, at 4901 Pacific Ave.
The blast was reportedly caused by ignition of vapors generated by cleaning liquids, used in finishing four of the 12 alleys, and from a stock of the liquid maintained in nearby containers.
The initial explosion blew the front of the establishment into the street, scattering debris and girders and blasting ventilators into the air. Fortunately, there was no one in the structure at the time, the proprietor of the alleys having just left the alleys for the cigar store, from which he and two other men and two boys were in turn forced to flee as the explosions continued.
A sergeant of the Wildwood Police Department in a radio car half a block away heard the initial blast and radioed the alarm. Firemen from Holly Beach were first on the scene, to find the one story bowling alley and cigar store in flames. Additional help was summoned and fire fighters concentrated on preventing extension of the fire to a onestory automobile agency in the path of the flames. In this they were successful although the fire, fanned by a brtsk southeast wind, completely burned out the other structures.